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Maine considers residential electric choice reforms, gas and power markets stay bearish

Maine is considering prohibiting door-to-door electric sales to residential customers. Gas and power markets continue their bearish run, headroom is available in CT, and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) releases draft legislation of the CLEAN Future Act.


Natural Gas

  • The February 2020 NYMEX Henry Hub forward contract expired at $1.877/MMBtu, a $0.03 (-1.5%) decrease from the previous Wednesday. The price of the 12-month strip averaging March 2020 through February 2021 futures contracts decreased $0.04 (-1.8%) to $2.177/MMBtu.

  • For the week ending January 24, the EIA reported net withdrawals from storage of 201 Bcf, which is higher than last year’s net withdrawals of 171 Bcf for this week and higher than the 5-year (2014–18) average net withdrawals of 143 Bcf.

  • Working natural gas in storage totaled 2,746 Bcf, which is 524 Bcf (23.6%) higher than last year’s working gas totals of 2,222 Bcf at the same time and 193 Bcf (7.6%) higher than the 5-year (2014-2018) average of 2,553 Bcf. Total working gas is within the five-year historical range.


Power

  • The PJM Western Hub On-Peak 12 month forward electricity strip is down 1.6% week over week and down 7.1% in the last month.

  • For those looking to hedge their PJM Western Hub On-Peak load, we see value in hedging the Summer 2020 months. Contact TrueLight to stay on top of value in current forward curve pricing and learn more about our portfolio management execution expertise.


Utility Highlight

  • Our forward headroom models indicate there is headroom starting February 1, 2020 for 3, 6, and 12 month contracts for United Illuminating (UI) General Service (GS) customers in Connecticut.

  • Maine has introduced a bill prohibiting residential door-to-door electricity sales that are being offered as an alternative to a complete end of retail electric choice for residential customers. Maine LD 1853 would provide that electric suppliers serving residential customers can no longer solicit residential consumers using door-to-door sales practices. The PUC would suspend the competitive electricity provider's license to operate for a period of no less than one year if any violation occurs. The electricity provider shall refund to all residential consumers contracted with that competitive electricity provider any amount paid for retail energy service in excess of the price of standard offer service since the competitive electricity provider's commencement of door-to-door sales practices. The bill would also require the PUC to consider contract term lengths of up to 10 years for standard offer service, and fixed and variable pricing proposals. Let TrueLight help you stay on top of current rates and subscribe to our PTC tracking and headroom reporting or use our price verification service to ensure you stay on top of all utility rate changes.

Clean Energy

  • The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Frank Pallone (D-NJ), released draft legislation for the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act last week. The CLEAN Future Act would require all public utilities to register as members of a regional transmission organization (RTO) for oversight of their transmission facilities. The draft also promotes retail choice of clean energy across the country. The CLEAN Act would implement a national renewable portfolio standard requiring suppliers to source an increasing proportion of their electricity supply from clean generation, and this requirement would reach 100% by 2050. Contact us for advice on renewable generation project development.

Market Intelligence

  • The Attorneys General of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine have written a letter to federal regulators accusing ISO New England of anti-competitive transmission project solicitations. The officials claim that every transmission project since 2011 has been deemed an emergency, which allows a more limited bidding process. Connecticut AG William Tong suggested that ratepayers could save millions if more competitive solicitations were carried out for transmission work. This past December ISO New England did announce a competitive request for proposals for transmission upgrades in the Boston area resulting from the retirement of the 2 GW Mystic Generating Station in Everett, MA. Contact TrueLight Support for analysis of the most up-to-date energy market news or use our price verification service to ensure the most recent market shifts are reflected in your price quotes.

Weather

  • The 8-14 day forecast beginning February 11th favors below average temperatures for the Western continental U.S. and above-average temperatures for most of the East. With the exception of the West Coast and Florida expecting drier than average weather, most regions will see wetter than typical conditions.